Sat, September 25, 2021

international

Washington urged to cease HK card use


The United States was again urged to stop playing political tricks by meddling in the legal affairs of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

The Foreign Ministry's commissioner's office in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and the Hong Kong SAR government on Friday voiced opposition to Washington's self-proclaimed "safe haven" offer to Hong Kong residents.

US President Joe Biden on Thursday signed a memorandum that allowed Hong Kong residents already in the US to stay for up to 18 months. The White House said the decision was made in response to the National Security Law for Hong Kong and to the "crackdown" on the city's opposition camp.

A spokesperson for the Commissioner's Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the HKSAR in a statement expressed "strong condemnation" and "firm opposition" to the US move.

The US decision reflects its hypocrisy as it turns a blind eye to the facts and mainstream opinion in Hong Kong, the spokesperson said.

The facts include that the National Security Law for Hong Kong only targets a small number of anti-China, destabilizing forces in the SAR who seriously endangered national security and the city's stability.

By late July, 138 people had been arrested on suspicion of endangering national security, 76 of whom were later prosecuted. The city has more than 7.56 million people.

Other facts overlooked by the US include a more stable society and lower crime rates brought about by the National Security Law for Hong Kong along with electoral system improvements. The spokesperson said that the legislation further optimizes the rule of law and protects the legitimate rights of people living in the city.

The spokesperson said the US "tricks", including talking down to the Hong Kong SAR and stigmatizing Beijing, revealed its ulterior motives to curb China's development by playing the "Hong Kong card".

The office urged the US to drop the illusion about containing China and put an end to such shameful political manipulations.

In a separate statement, a spokesperson for the Hong Kong SAR government also rebutted the US claim that the National Security Law for Hong Kong was used to crack down on dissidents, adding that the smear was "baseless and purely politically motivated".

"Any law enforcement actions taken by Hong Kong law enforcement agencies are based on evidence, strictly according to the law, based on the acts of the persons or entities concerned, and have nothing to do with their political stance, background or occupation," the government statement read.

The US is one of the destinations where some Hong Kong people suspected of endangering national security have fled to over the past two years.

"The Hong Kong government will pursue ... legal liabilities in accordance with the law to ensure fugitive offenders face justice," the spokesperson added.

Before granting the 18-month arrangement, the US last month imposed a round of sanctions on central government officials in the SAR and warned US enterprises in Hong Kong of the city's "deteriorating business environment".

Published : August 07, 2021

By : GANG WEN/China Daily/ANN